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Coaching Leadership

Patrick Mouratoglou’s Rules for Life

Patrick Mouratoglou is a French tennis coach, a sports commentator, a worthy role model for all helping professionals out there. He’s got a stunning track record too — more than 40 players whom he’s coached are/were under the top 100 tennis players in the world! He’s most known for being Serena William’s coach since June 2012.

Here are Patrick’s rules for life from The Playbook:

  1. You can have an impact on anything. And if you think like that, whatever you start to do in life, it’s magic. Everything begins with your belief. Where is it right now? What do you believe in?
  2. Practice a million times, until it’s perfect. Goes without saying but for a culture that’s obsessed with life-hacks and accelerated accomplishments, the “practising” bit needs to drilled-in.
  3. Of course, it’s tough, and that’s why not many people can be number one. The struggle is for real and what you see is just the output of countless hours of training, dedication, and emotional, mental, and spiritual conflict.
  4. A significant weakness can create an immense strength. And identifying both is important to understand what to focus on. Most people think that they need to work only on their strengths or on their weaknesses, so they become strengths. In reality, everything depends on context. In tennis, if your weakness is the serve or the backhand, you don’t have an option but to strengthen them further as they’re significant. But if you suck at the nets, you need to clarify how much do you suck and if working on that weakness is worth your time.
  5. We live in a world where people are faking all day long. And as a coach, You need to know what people think. Coaches have super-powers — they can listen to what’s not even been said.
  6. I accept to make mistakes because I take risks, and because I am not scared.
  7. A good coach can never be afraid to get fired. You can’t be attached to the “job” or the “client” and hope to deliver your best as a coach. A high-performing coach holds himself/herself to the highest standards, and that might mean enforcing boundaries and rules to bring the best out of the client.
  8. Mistakes are inevitable, but you don’t let them define you.
  9. Failure and frustration are two of the best thing that can happen if you handle them the right way. If you don’t, they can destroy you, your career, and peace of mind.
  10. Emotions are the worst adviser. There’s a reason why “listen to your heart” isn’t great advice. Most people mistake “heart” for their emotions and everything goes downhill from there. Emotions are to be tamed, and that can only come with conscious self-reflection.
  11. As a coach, you have to say the right things to bring confidence. Which might mean you may have to lie at times as a good lie can become the truth. I’ve done this a handful of times for causes that were much greater than my need to be a great coach.

There are times when the coach will have to stretch the truth or flat out lie to instils or restore confidence in his/her client. Once the client embraces it, acts upon it, the lie essentially becomes the truth.

Before you judge me or the coaching professional, know that having the belief in our clients is fundamental to any coaching relationship even if they don’t believe in themselves!